Budget 2023: Make AI in India, a move welcomed by all
Industry stakeholders have been quite welcoming and appreciative towards the big announcement regarding AI in this year’s budget.
Bhoomika Singh February 14, 2023
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The Union Budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 includes funding for digital infrastructure in a variety of sectors. On February 1st, 2023, the finance minister announced the budget, which includes seven ‘Saptarishi’ priorities.
These priorities are: Inclusive Development, Reaching the Last Mile, Infrastructure & Investment, Unleashing the Potential, Green Growth, Youth Power, and the Financial Sector.
Under the fourth priority, i.e., unleashing the potential, the FM announced the government’s intention to set up Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in top educational institutions to realise its vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”.
Technological advancements have revolutionised industry and businesses in the past few years, thereby influencing the production process and the supply chain. Industry 4.0 has integrated new technologies like cloud computing, AI, analytics, and machine learning into its operations and production processes, unveiling a new generation of smart techniques.
“Leading industry players will partner up in conducting interdisciplinary research and develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. This will galvanize an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field,” the FM said.
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Calling it a great move, Sumit Sabharwal, CEO of TeamLease HRtech says that it will accelerate the digitalisation of the Indian economy. Indian companies in sectors like health tech, HR tech, fintech, etc. will be able to compete globally if our human capital is skilled in AI.
Weighing in, Pramod Gummaraj, CEO of Aprecomm comments, “This budget’s focus on boosting the use of artificial intelligence through Centres of Excellence and the initiative towards setting up 100 labs for app development using 5G services is indeed a great move and a great boost to the respective sectors.”
Speaking from the perspective of the wearables market, the CEO and Co-founder of Gizmore, Sanjay Kalironander says, “Technology plays an important role in developing smart wearables with the latest features. This announcement will boost the infrastructure for AI in the country and its use in smart wearables.”
“Smart wearables are expected to continue to drive consumer interest with the increasing preference for a healthier and more modern lifestyle,” he adds.
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This year’s budget provides us with a forward-looking blueprint for India’s resilience, competence and innovation.
Highlighting this, the Vice President at Pegasystems, Deepak Visweswaraiah says, “I am pleased with the centre’s measures for “Make AI for India and Make AI Work for India,” which is intended to encourage innovation in AI. As a result, India will be able to create an effective AI ecosystem as well as nurture skilled AI professionals.”
“This is also a significant step towards promoting financial inclusion in India, allowing industries across sectors to become more accessible to a broader segment of the population,” he further adds.
“It is exciting to see that the Union Budget 2023 recommends that a greater emphasis should be placed on artificial intelligence research, as well as on employability, e-skilling, and job creation in the start-up sector,” says Ranjan Kumar, founder and CEO of Entropik.
He adds, “With India currently having the third largest ecosystem for start-ups in the world and ranking second in innovation quality among middle-income nations, it is encouraging to see the implementation of innovative policies and initiatives to support the growth of start-ups and frontier technologies in the country.”
“Implementing policies that aid in boosting private sector involvement in frontier technology and AI, as well as focusing on the academic and skilling environment, would undoubtedly attract and grow highly trained digital talent in the country,” Kumar points out.
“As the CEO of a digital agency, I welcome the government’s future-forward approach to encouraging the homegrown development of AI-based technology and solutions,” says Siddharth Bhansali, Founder of Noesis.tech and CTO of Zoo Media.
Bhansali adds, “We have a unique opportunity to define the future of AI and ensure that it is fair, accessible and inclusive. India should take all the steps that it can to increase the chances of the next disruptive company to be born here and change the world from here. “
Speaking of the opportunities that AI would create in the country, Alok Dubey, CFO at Acer India says, “It places a high value on technology and innovation as a whole. Realising the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India” is projected to strengthen the country’s standing in the technology industry globally and generate numerous possibilities for the youth.”
India is sitting on a unique opportunity to become the AI powerhouse of the world – we have the demographic dividend of a growing young workforce and are already at the cutting edge of AI with the 3rd rank in AI-related publications globally. “The creation of Centres of Excellence for AI will foster innovation in the field of AI while developing solutions for and significantly reinventing areas like agriculture, health, and sustainable cities,” says Sandeep Dutta, Chief Practice Officer – APAC region, Fractal.
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He asserts that this emphasis on investment in AI research and talent development is a welcome step towards establishing India as a global AI leader.
Weighing in, the Founder & CEO of Nazara Technologies, Nitish Mittersain says, “The budget makes digitisation an integrated aspect of all sectors. AI is the next level in technology innovation and enterprise creation.”
Calling it a game changer in streamlining AI further, Mittersain noted that the budget for 2023 has given prominence to digital infrastructure. The intent is not only on developing but building an ecosystem.
The budget highlights the importance of AI in industries and businesses across India, especially in the post-COVID-19 era, where AI provided new capabilities to mitigate uncertainty by leveraging data, according to Adit Jain, Co-founder and CEO of Leena AI.
Jain further points out, “As an enterprise virtual assistant, we also use AI to empower such enterprises to transform and improve the employee experience. We appreciate the renewed focus on technology and AI which will improve workforce productivity and the aim to build a digital-ready workforce, which is fundamental to achieving the GoI’s ‘Digital India’ vision.”
AI industry in India
AI in India is no longer a marginal technology, as enterprises and manufacturers will gain considerably from the superior deployment of machine learning technologies and AI. Companies in India are increasingly adopting AI to drive business outcomes.
Machine learning and AI have a wide range of applications that have had a profound effect on several industries and have completely changed how firms’ function. The Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India reports that in 2018, AI spending in India increased by 109.6 per cent or US$ 665 million. Additionally, it is predicted that spending on AI will soar at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39 per cent between 2019 and 2025, reaching US$ 11,781 million by 2025.
Overall, the tech ecosystem in India has responded positively to the budget announcements. The stakeholders are hopeful for the further development of the various sectors that are associated with artificial intelligence.
Moreover, AI will be essential in providing specialised services like remote diagnostics or precision agricultural advise and will also make access to government welfare programmes easier and more convenient for everyone.